Friday 21st November 2008
I'm still waiting for Hermione to come into season. She's just had her annual Profile 7200 test done and is all clear.
I've had a lot of enquiries about this litter and its interesting to note that the vast majority of callers don't know what to look for when buying a dog of any breed. So I thought I'd rectify that for you now. Thanks to James for prompting me to do this with last night's call.
First: YOUR HOMEWORK
You've got to do this, I can't do it for you.
What health tests are there for this breed?
What are the minimum tests that have to be done?
What do the original certificates look like?
How much will it cost to insure this dog?
How much will it cost to feed?
Can I feed a natural diet?
What is a crate and how much is it?
How much are dog training lessons?
How many will I need?
How much does a visit to the groomer cost?
How often will that be?
What grooming equipment will I need at home?
What will puppy eat out of?
How much are the three puppy collars it will grow out of?
How much is the adult size collar and lead?
How much is the annual vet check?
How much are vaccinations (if you do them)?
Where will your dog go when you're on holiday?
How much does the local kennels charge?
How much does it cost to neuter my dog?
How much exercise does my dog need?
Do I have that many hours a day?
How much is a dog walker going to charge?
How long will it be before I can sleep through the night?
At what age can I expect my pup to be house trained?
How long can I leave my puppy each day?
What is the longevity for this breed?
Second: The questions you should ask the Breeder in your initial phone call or e-mail...
These might save you a fruitless 7 hour trip to view a sub-standard litter of puppies... If in doubt, walk away.
Why did you breed this litter? (Money? To keep their line going? ???)
What health tests have you done? (should match or exceed your homework answers)
What health tests has the owner of the sire done? (ditto)
What are the results? Can you see the results before visiting?
How many litters has this dog had? (No more than 4)
How many dogs do you own right now? (more than 2 breeding bitches could indicate that this is not a "hobbyist" or "home-breeder" ... what did their advert imply? ... owning other older members of the family (grandma, etc) is good news and you should ask to "meet" them when you visit...)
What do you feed your dogs? (IMHO raw/natural (BARF) is best)
How much exercise do you give them? (Healthy dogs produce healthier pups)
How much grooming do they need?
Do they shed? (Anyone who says no should be viewed with some suspicion).
Where was the puppy born? (IMHO inside home is best unless you intend to keep your dog outside)
Where has it been raised? (ditto)
What training have you done? (Clicker training can start at 5 weeks)
What socialisation have you done? (Car trips? Children? Etc?)
How often can I visit my puppy and how long can I stay? (be wary if they won't let you visit more than once - and if they won't let you visit at all or offer to deliver the puppy to you shouldn't be walking, you should be running!)
Would you be prepared to put a teeshirt that smells of us in with the puppies for a week prior to collection? (this helps pup bond with you and can't possibly hurt)
At what age are the puppies weaned? (3 - 4 weeks is normal)
Do you ever take the mother away from the puppies? (mum should have FREEDOM to come and go as she pleases)
Will I be able to see mum and pups together? (if NO, walk away)
Can I hold, touch and play with the puppies if I visit? (if NO, walk away)
Do you do "Puppy Temperament Testing" at 7 weeks? (most enlightened breeders do some sort of testing)
Do you pick a puppy for us or can we choose our own? (by 7-8 weeks of age, the breeder should know you AND her puppies well enough to help or decide for you)
What other animals has this litter of puppies met? (More is better)
Does the breeder have children and if so, what ages? (Controlled kids noise is good socialisation)
Do you have a contract and if so, can I have a look at it first?
If something happens to me, will you help to rehome or take back my puppy? (if NO, walk away)
What do I get with my puppy? You should expect as a minimum: one week's supply of the food the puppy has been raised on, a contract, a pedigree and six weeks of insurance. In addition, I give 10 litres of our tap water (assuming its different to yours), a puppy pack with photos of mum, dad, siblings from previous litters (if available), close relatives, training advice and the "first 48 hours" survival guide. I also offer a free 5 week training course for those local enough to partake.
How much is this puppy? Raising a puppy correctly is not a cheap exercise, however, the price should reflect the quality of the puppy, its parents health test costs, the diet the pup was raised on and the socialising and training its been given.
Are you keeping one of these puppies for yourself? (yes is a very good answer indicating the breeder has faith in her breeding plan.)
Then: Some questions that a good breeder will ask you.
Are you buying this puppy for yourself?
Have you ever had a dog before?
If so, what breeds?
Do you have allergy sufferers in your family? (labradoodles are not guaranteed to be hypoallergenic, in fact, most of them aren't - I don't sell to allergy sufferers...)
Have you ever had to rehome a dog, if so, what were the circumstances and when was this?
What are your family circumstances?
How many kids do you have?
Do you have frequent visits from elderly friends or relatives?
Are you house proud?
Are you garden proud?
Tell me about your house (layout, district, etc)
Tell me about your garden (huge isn't always best but fully fenced is a must)
What dog walking areas are there near you?
How long will you leave my puppy alone each day?
Have you arranged holiday when your puppy arrives?
When you go away, who will look after your puppy?
If you and your partner split up, who gets the puppy?
If you or your partner dies, what will happen to the puppy?
Can I visit if I'm ever in your area?
Is someone home for the majority of every day?
Does that person like dogs?
Does that person want a dog?
What's your daily routine like?
What other pets do you have?
Can you supply references (previous dog training school etc)
Will I be able to meet all of your family before you pick up your puppy?
Does everyone know about the puppy?
Is this puppy a gift or a surprise?
Can you visit more than once?
Are you happy for me to choose the right pup for you, after the Puppy Test at 7 weeks?
If the breeder doesn't ask you any searching or uncomfortable questions, they can't be terribly interested in their puppy's future welfare can they? And they probably invested the same interest in researching the pedigree's of the parent dogs, their health checks and their diet.
Finally, never EVER buy from someone who offers to deliver to you, meet you half way or won't let you visit them.
Assuming the breeder met your criteria and you met hers, the visit comes next...
Is the puppy in the house or outside?
Are all the puppies bright and pleased to see you?
Are they in a CLEAN pen? (Some poo can be expected, but filthy stinking surroundings do not bode well).
What do the puppies smell like when you pick them up?
Are their eyes and noses clean (stay well clear of runny noses or eyes)
Are they like miniature versions of the adult, or do they have distended pot-bellies (often a sign of worms).
Are their coats super soft and shiny (dull "gritty" coats also signal worms)
Are they timid?
Are they bolshy and aggressive?
Where is mum?
Where is dad? (Don't expect him to be there, most people pay and use a tested stud dog)
Are the puppies being raised in an enriched environment? ie: what toys do they have to play with? (think textures and materials - more is better - wood, thick glass, metal, plastic etc)
Is there a mixture of surfaces for the puppy to explore? (Grass, gravel, paving, carpet, lino, etc)
Does mum look happy and relaxed? (You might expect her to be a bit wary of you, but she should clearly adore her breeders)
Remember all those health checks you asked about? Now's the time to ask to see all the paperwork. You should see original certificates for mum, photocopies for dad if he isn't owned by the breeder.
Do NOT be fobbed off with excuses. Tests are expensive. Breeders do NOT, EVER, loose or mislay their results. They should be practiacally forcing them down your throat as you arrive! Hip, Elbow and Eye Test results can (and should be) checked with the Kennel Club.
YOU MUST ASK THE BREEDER BEFORE DOING THESE TESTS, if they haven't heard of Temperament Testing I'd be wary, but if they'd like to help you do it, they'd earn brownie points from me!
Temperament testing is best done at 7 weeks exactly, however, if done earlier or later it will still give you an indication of the individual puppy's strengths and weaknesses.
Puppy Testing is best done in an area that the puppy has not been into before, and must be done individually. The Tester must not be someone that the puppy knows well (that person can score the results). In a nutshell:
If you introduce a novel stimulus (a soft toy or tea towel) how does the puppy intereact with it? Growling and tearing might indicate too bold, no interest at all might indicate an unwillingness to interact or play with you - these pups are hard to train!)
If you drop a pan lid on the floor to make a sharp noise (or bang a metal spoon on a pot) what happens? (If they all run away they're too shy, if they race to see what the noise was, they might be too bold for the average family - correct response for the average "home" is stop, locate sound and listen intently for more)
If you cuddle the puppy does it try to kiss you, bite you, struggle fearcely or go limp? Kissing is good
If you then walk away, does it try to follow you? Yes is good.
If you throw a paper ball, does it attempt to retrieve it? (Picking it up and running away with it might indicate too bold, no interest is hard to train, retrieving to you (badly) is just great!)
If you open an umbrella suddenly, what does your puppy do? Running away isn't good, barking at it isn't either, curiosity is good.
If you roll the puppy gently onto its back and keep it there for 30 seconds, what is its reaction? Eye contact with a little struggle is good, fearce struggling, growling or biting isn't.
If you gently interlock your fingers under the puppy's tummy and raise it 12" from the floor for 30 seconds, what does it do? You're looking for a confident pup that will struggle a bit to get down, then give up and wait for you.
Monday 21st July 2008
Well, her mother's just come into season, but
there's still no sign from Hermione... This is getting very boring now!
However, sometimes being with another female that is in season is enough
to bring the other dog in, so lets keep our fingers firmly crossed that
this happens SOON! You will be notified on this page as the moment she
does come into season.
To calculate when this litter of pups will be ready; from
the day Hermione starts her season you'll need to add approximately
12 days to mating, 63-65 days gestation then 56 days to "ready for
new homes" time. Thats about 133 days in total or very approximately
4 months away...
If you're interested in a puppy you'll need to fill in
and e-mail it to
me, once I've received it I can call you and we can arrange for you to
come and meet the dogs. The questionnaire requires that you do quite a
bit of research and (since its free) I'd advise all novice owners to take
a look at it, regardless of whether you're thinking of purchasing a labradoodle
from me or any other breeder.
Monday 24th March 2008
Its very very exciting ... but at the moment I'm afraid
there's not much to tell. Hermione was in season at Christmas, so all
things being equal she'll be in season again at the end of June. I'm planning
to use one of the Manorborn
Stud Dogs to produce a litter of Chocolate Miniature F1b Labradoodles.
Please view Hermione's
health tests and pedigree here.
There is a waiting list for this litter, ...but are you
even ready for a puppy? Here's our application form - pdf
format / Microsoft
Word format. We should warn you, its a 5 page questionnaire and we
don't sell puppies to people who can't be bothered to fill it in!
sales contract will apply, please click here to view it.
blood test results are back from Jean Dodds at Hemopet. They indicate
that she may be coming into season earlier than expected. This
is great news if its true - I personally prefer puppies born in the summer,
I find the house-training easier and there's something just nice about watching
them playing in the garden from the kitchen window. Last year wasn't so
bad, we invested in a large marquee, but its not the same as pen with a
direct sunshine choice in my humble opinion.
We went to Rosemount Veterinary Surgery on Wednesday 9th April for
Hermione's first BVA Annual Eye Test with Jeff Yellowley, a vet who is
specially qualified to test dogs under this combined Kennel Club, British
Veterinary Association and International Sheep Dog Society scheme.
So she now has a Clear
Eye Certificate to add to her now quite impressive health
However, this particular test cost an absolute arm and a leg.
Woking Shopping Mall is only just down the road from the vets and they've
got a Toys R Us there... and a Primark... and Boots... and Burger King
(yes, we do do junk food every now and again!)
... and Debenhams ... it was a really, REALLY nice day.
Thank you Sophie for being such a brilliant baby-sitter. Jenson and Daisy